Epiphyte - first use

Gary Rosenberg rosenberg at ACNATSCI.ORG
Tue Apr 3 09:07:13 CDT 2001

>>> Robin Leech <releech at TELUSPLANET.NET> 03/20/01 08:12PM >>>
1861 MISS PRATT Flower. Pl. III, 385.

That is the earliest quotation cited in the Oxford English Dictionary (ed. 2) in the entry for "epiphyte".  However, the entry for "longbeard" contains:

1858 Simmonds Dict. Trade, Long-beard, a name for a kind of moss or epiphyte brought down the Mississippi.

Adjectival forms are recorded earlier:

1816 Kirby & Sp. Entomol. (1843) I. 385 Regarded by some of our first botanists as an epiphytous fungus, but proved on dissection to be a true gall.

1830 Lindley Nat. Syst. Bot. 264 Of the epiphytic class, one only is found so far north as South Carolina.

1854 Hooker Himal. Jrnls. I. i. 24 Additional epiphytal orchidaceous plants.

If anyone comes up with an earlier usage of epiphyte than 1858, I'll be happy to forward it to the appropriate editor at OED. I've been sending them antedatings for malacological terms for years.

Gary Rosenberg

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